Monthly Archives: August 2017

A Living System at Each Level

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Each component of the global food system depends on a healthy planet. What is a healthy planet? It is not just the absence of air pollution, global warming, landfills, deforestation, oil spills, etc. A healthy planet, and therefore a healthy global food ecology (socially, politically, environmentally) also boils down to healthy dirt, nutrient-rich soil and water, microbial symbiosis… all sorts… Read more »

Climate Complexity

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I found it hard to connect with the last four contemplative practices with the exception of week 7, Climate Complexity. It felt good to just sit and take a deep breath. As I sat on my couch listening to this practice, I focused on my breathing, calming my overwhelming sense of stress as of late. Climate change is a big… Read more »

A Stressful Process

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I have spent weeks working on my Food Solutions Research Paper. Every-time I thought I was getting somewhere, the feedback I would receive would change my direction yet again. Now having completed the process and as I contemplate posting my paper, I find myself continuously rereading it, asking myself it I have done enough. Finding a specific solution was probably… Read more »

Soil, Water and Seed

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Unless you are a gardener it might be hard to image the impact that soil, water, and seeds have on the environment.  Seeds could not serve their purpose without the help of soil and water. This trio is the key to the longevity of the human civilization.  As a consumer ridden society that is overwhelmed by the need to buy… Read more »

The Impact Of Industrial Livestock Raising and Alternatives

 (large scale industrial livestock farm) The environmental impact of industrial livestock raising is huge.  It is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gases behind energy production.  Without changes in how we produce meat, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted through industrial livestock raising will only increase.  The population is rising and becoming more affluent.  More affluent populations tend to eat… Read more »

Morning Glory

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The time-lapse film showing seed germination, by Neil Bromhall, was my favorite video from this course. The short video is mesmerizing; it beautifully captures the precious beginning of various plant life as new sprouts emerge from the soil’s surface. I began gardening a year and a half ago. At the time, it was an unlikely hobby for me, but a… Read more »

Research Reflections: A Globalized Western Diet, and the Subtle Brilliance of Japan’s School Lunch Program

In conducting research for my Food Solutions Essay, A Globalized Western Diet, and the Subtle Brilliance of Japan’s School Lunch Program, I found myself amazed by the uniqueness of the Japanese school lunch program and deeply inspired by its success in affecting diet-related health outcomes. I want to share a brief excerpt from my paper, which outlines the program in… Read more »

Reflections on final essay

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While researching the United States food waste system, I came across the United Nations list of countries that record how their food is processed, distributed, and where the waste goes. Many countries trash roughly 30-40% of the food that is produced or purchased. This immense cost of waste is probably the largest inefficiency in the global food system. We have… Read more »

Rainwater Harvesting for Food Security

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Agriculture is generally recognized as the precursor to the world’s first civilizations. The development of irrigation and other farming methods boosted food production and allowed for population expansion and permanent human settlements. Irrigated land expanded at a steady pace until the last century with the advent of modern farming techniques. Modern farming tripled acreage of irrigated land between 1950 and… Read more »

Perhaps Meat is Not All Bad

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Vegans raise many valid criticisms and open the door to nuanced conversations about ethical food production. While many vegans protest eating meat on a moral basis, others abstain because of unsustainable practices in meat production. For instance, on today’s cattle farms, waste food like meat and bonemeal are often mixed into grain feed for cattle, when simple hay and grass… Read more »